Still Life Drawing: Skull and Oak! Sketchbook V

Back to the Sketchbook!!!

Over the past couple of weeks I have made it my goal to get up half an hour earlier than I need to get ready for work and to get some quick sketching time in the mornings.

Using this time has been a great help for me to form this sketching habit and I’ll be using to cover a range of themes and subjects, I began with still life drawing, next week maybe I’ll do some master studies.

Another bonus aspect is that with it being so early in the morning, tight detailed drawings are not the way; this helps me to keep the sketches loose and fluent.

Continue reading “Still Life Drawing: Skull and Oak! Sketchbook V”

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Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part XXI

Good Morning!

Welcome to my Morning Coffee & Sketch series; it has been a great journey so far, I have learned an awful lot as well as loosened up with my sketching. The ideas flow nicely and many of which will eventually become fully detailed artworks; I’m working on two at the moment which will soon become oil paintings.

Anyway straight to it this morning as I’m already running late, I had to run an errand earlier this morning and that threw a bit of a spanner in the works but I’ve managed to knock up a quick sketch and get this post in order to publish.

Here’s today’s sketch –

Continue reading “Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part XXI”

Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part XIX

Good Morning!

Welcome to my Morning Coffee & Sketch series, I don’t usually post one over the weekend and as far as I can remember this is the first time I have; but I couldn’t resist getting a sketch out this morning.

I had a really productive day yesterday with painting and I have no almost completed the oil painting of the first piece of the main storyline for my Leaves of Hellebore visual fantasy novel. Also today I’ll be starting on another drawing for the history and lore of the world I am creating for that IP.

Moving on anyway, this morning’s sketch is another inspired by the History TV show Vikings.

Continue reading “Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part XIX”

Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part X

Good Morning!

Welcome to the first milestone post of my Morning Coffee & Sketch series!

I’m a little bit later than usual with posting today but hey, it is Monday morning after all. For today’s post I decided to sketch a simple landscape scene and leave it absent of any figures, for now at least; when it comes to getting the paintings and detailed drawings done I’m not sure if I’ll produce any landscapes devoid of figures or not, I’d like to but we’ll see what happens closer to the time.

Let’s get to the sketch –

Continue reading “Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part X”

Hadleigh Castle

One of the greatest things about driving is the fact that I now have the means to go to places that are either inaccessible or extremely long to get to via public transport; I just pack up a bag, jump in the car and I’m off to wherever it is that takes my fancy, time and weather permitting of course.

Yesterday I decided to head up to the remains of Hadleigh Castle, not a great deal of the castle is left but there’s definitely enough to get a sense of the place and a feel for how it once stood so proudly and defiant against a most beautiful and scenic backdrop.

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I found it to be an incredibly peaceful place to sit and reflect, there were a few people about but it wasn’t overly busy like many of the more popular tourist sites and attractions around the country.  Continue reading “Hadleigh Castle”

A Walk Outside – Healing the Mind

After a short hiatus and a struggle to get back into the swing of working on my art projects every day and keeping the blog updated regularly enough to justify having one, I’m finally getting back into the mindstate I require in order to get the work done.

In aid of this journey back to my preferred reality, this evening I decided that me and my wife should get out for an hour or so and go down to the marina at the local nature reserve and go for a nice walk in the serenity of the beautiful landscape which is unbelievably close to the council estate we live in.

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View of Marina – Thames Estuary

Continue reading “A Walk Outside – Healing the Mind”

Change of Direction – New Paths

So many people in this world are scared of change, whether big or little; I see it as an opportunity to adapt, start anew and build up an empire, alas, don’t ever fear change but on the contrary, embrace it. – J Glover

I recently made a decision that was found to be shocking by the people around me, my friends and even my wife, who knows me better than anyone. That decision was that after 2 years of working hard in education in order to go to uni, I will no longer be going. This decision wasn’t an off the cuff spur of the moment change of heart about my future caused by being unsure of what I want from life; my end game is the same, my objective clear and concise, a set destination of immovable strength; it’s just the road that I’m taking to get there that is different.

This was incited by troubles in getting the funding that I needed, a lot of hassle and stress that isn’t needed at the best of times, but this minor tribulation set off a whirlwind of thoughts and deep contemplation, tropical brainstorms and meditating until my pulse stopped, weighing up and reasoning on every aspect of my decision to go to university and the course that was available to me.

I had chosen to take a Fine Art BA (Hons) Degree; now when I initially pictured Fine Art, I had a beautifully romanticized vision of a modern Verrocchio’s workshop. Tutors that would teach me to draw and paint like the masters of the Renaissance, Sculpt like Michelangelo and provide plenty of hours worth of figure studies each and every week. Research on different narratives, mythologies and a study of philosophy. Obviously my definition of Fine Art is very outdated and too far gone to even be sniffed at in a modern Fine Art degree. A Fine Art Atelier would probably be better suited to my needs, but due to lack of funding available for such a course and locality this isn’t an option either.

Instead of what I envisioned, the course has dropped figure studies from its curriculum and the rest is more Contemporary than I would like to be involved in, Conceptual art, challenging conventions and Installation work; whilst I have seen artworks from each category that I have liked, it’s not what I personally want to create or be a part of. From unmade beds to condensation cubes and glittered excrement I found myself questioning if it really was for me. The end result of my contemplation was that I don’t want to invest 3 years and so much debt into something that I’m not 100% dedicated to. I’m not suggesting that the course is worthless or that I wouldn’t have learned anything because that would be a ridiculous idea, it’s just not going to teach me what I want to learn and will involve me spending too much time away from what I do want to do and my personal studies.

My next step now is to self educate, with the power of books and the internet on top of spending every day in practical work I will learn to draw and paint in the way I want to, whether frowned upon or not to prefer the traditional methods, that is what I’m going to do, staying true to myself rather than going to university on a whim for the experience or conforming to the Contemporary art industry. It’s funny really that they spend so much time trying to find new ways to “challenge convention” that they’ve lost their way, it’s turned now to the point that I’m challenging convention more by wanting to draw and paint in the traditional manners and techniques.

Also underlying all of this is the fact that I would love to work as a concept artist, for film,TV or computer games and although a lot of this work would be done digitally through software such as Photoshop, it still offers opportunity to be traditional in the sense of creating a narrative using paint, drawing and sketching, research and practice; these are the things that appeal to me more than anything. The thing that would get me a job in the field of Conceptual Design will be my portfolio based around that area, not a degree and a portfolio full of glittered turds and “this is art because I say it is” pieces.

Time is a very important factor as well, by not attending university five days a week, I have the time to go to London regularly to visit galleries, places of interest, museums and draw inspiration from them; I’ll also be able to make more trips to my home away from home that is Italy. Trips to other places of interest and long walks through natural landscapes, sketching and painting as I go will also now be a part of my itinerary. In addition to these things, I’ll have more time to build up my blog and remain consistent with posts, not having to neglect neither this or my artwork due to having to write essays or dissertations and not running on fumes every day. My creativity will be nurtured and in full bloom due to my decision and inspiration comes from within as much as from without, if not more so.

I may have rambled a fair amount through this post but the point of me posting it is to show that change is not something to avoid, change of mind is not a sign of failure or fear to commit, it is something to embrace and use to your advantage wherever possible. We are human, adapting to new situations is part of our being and a skill that comes naturally, never having to be learned as long as you don’t fear to utilize it.

JG